It's pretty scary for parents to think that their kids are doing things behind their backs. Scary, but all too common. The idea of your teen sneaking out in the middle of the night to go to a party, or secret teenage dating can be enough to keep a parent from sleeping… until their child is grown and married!
The problem is that with so many resources available for the average teen today, secret teenage dating is extremely easy to get away with, at least in the virtual world. Actually meeting in the real world can still present a lot of challenges.
One of the easiest ways to monitor who your kids are talking to and what they are up to online, is to keep the computer in a open spot. Don't let them take their laptop, or phone or desktop into their room and shut the door. They will get mad at you and probably yell at you and possibly even call you names when you try to "cramp their style" but who cares, as long as they are safe.
I would much rather have had my daughter (who is now grown and married, thank goodness!) mad at me when I tried to keep her form seeing a certain boy than to have something happen to her. I'm sure you feel the same way. Even though your kids may get mad at you there is a part of them that knows you are right and feel secure that you are looking out for them… they just won't admit it until much later!
Most parents are not comfortable with the idea of "spying" on their kids or tossing their room, though some parents have done just that. If that isn't your idea of good parenting than try another approach. Try to set up and keep open lines of communication with your kids from a very early age. It's true that your kids have to act in a way that will show you that they can be trusted, but so do you to a point.
When your kid screws up, and they will, how you handle it will go a long way in determining how, or if, they communicate with you in times of stress and crisis. If you didn't handle a situation well in the past, they are very unlikely to open up to you and trust you in the future. If you did handle something poorly and you don't want to permanently close the door on communication all you have to do, after you calm down, is to express your sincere apology over the way you handled things.
You don't have to say you were wrong, just tell them that maybe you didn't handle it in the best way possible and for that you are sorry.
Keeping a close eye on what your teen is up to is a daunting task to say the least. With the advancement of technology it has just gotten more challenging but as a parent, you still have a lot of control. Just let your teen know what the boundaries are, keep an eye on them and keep communication lines open at all times. Doing this may make secret teenage dating less appealing to your teen.